Minutes (Chicago)

August 4, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

  • At the farmer’s market: The Gutter Punk was hitting on the mushroom girl again. They spoke for a few hours, him dawdling around her tent, making himself conspicuous when she was alone and inconspicuous when she had customers, camoflauging at will in the earthy properties of her wares. By contrast she was clean with very white teeth and one of those smiles that seems style-less, unbegrudged by any particular aesthetic or urban affiliation. She looked like she might hike the Appalachian Trail just as she might work in a bookstore, go to school, be a midwife, run a farm or keep bees. A woman capable of passing through many worlds; worlds without a public.
  • At the farmer’s market: children smelled soap like they would taste ice cream. Each child picked a different color of soap and raised it to their respective parents’ noses saying, “I want this one.” Parents complied. A group of three families passed on to the next stand, where the children began demanding vegetables as a passerby remarked with a scowl, “It’s no good children making decisions for the family.”
  • At the farmer’s market: a middle-aged woman walked around with a collapsible stool and a beau. At each tent she unfolded her stool and sat down as one might sit at a flea market. Her beau, a younger man in his late twenties, followed her pointing finger and brought her a variety of vegetables to inspect while she tried to chat with the farmers. The silence came in episodic periods, giving everyone goosebumps.

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